RayField Wright, retired Dallas Cowboy faces dementia


Rayfield Wright, a retired Dallas Cowboy and Football Hall of Fame member, faces dementia. Wright, now 68, played for the Cowboys from 1967-1979. He has two Super Bowl rings in size 16 through which a quarter can easily pass. His retirement was brought on by the effects of multiple concussions which was affecting his memory. A member of the former NFL players lawsuit group, Wright has lost count of his concussions and recently in an interview commented: “so many I couldn’t even count them”. Still a imposing presence at 6’7″ and 265 pounds, Wright is only a few pounds heavier than his playing weight, but is troubled by his cognitive decline and seizures and he now he limits his public appearances. In 2012 Wright was diagnosed with Dementia, but periodically forgets what is wrong with him and slips into tears when he experiences periods of confusion.This giant of football has become dependent on a former girlfriend, now caretaker, to get through the day.

In addition to his cognitive and mental health problems which are likely related to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or CTE, Wright has been plagued with financial problems, including uncovered medical costs. The NFL lawsuit may bring Wright some financial relief, but it will never adequately compensate him for the losses related to his multiple concussions. The NFL lawsuit has  “bogged down” with the Judge requesting additional information to support the proposed settlements which are scaled by age of the person and the disabling condition.  Recently Rayfield Wright brought his deteriorating mental health situation to the public’s attention. He remains one of football’s all-time greats, but he may not soon remember the game.

Click here to read the New York Times story.

About Rolf Gainer Ph.D.

Dr. Rolf Gainer is the founder of the Neurologic Rehabilitation Institute at Brookhaven Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma as well as the Neurological Rehabilitation Institute of Ontario, in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Gainer is a psychologist with more than twenty-five years of experience in the treatment and rehabilitation of individuals with brain injuries and a dual diagnosis. Dr. Gainer has designed and operated innovative rehabilitation programs in the United States and Canada for individuals who have been regarded as difficult to serve. He is currently involved in conducting two outcome studies related to the long-term issues faced by individuals with brain injuries and a dual diagnosis. He has presented papers throughout the United States and Canada in many professional conferences and educational forums.

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